A historical Review of British Role in Iran-Iraqi Dispute on the Shatt-al-Arab Waterway

Document Type: Original Article


 Relations between the third world countries in different parts of Asia and Africa during the 19th and 20th centuries, to a great extent, were influenced by the presence and policies of colonial powers. Thus, for a better understanding of roots of disputes and issues existing between these countries concerning frontiers, disputed Islands, political and prejudicial tensions, we need to study past history, especially the history of colonial era, including presence, interests and policies of great powers, specifically that of British. As, established colonial interests dictated, arbitral boundaries were established without any regard to the interests of nations concerned, artificial religions and creeds were founded and propagated,  claims or counter claims between neighboring countries waged and supported, all of which culminated in longstanding disputes between the nations which occasionally became the source of most cruel and deadly wars. In the Middle East, because of the British entrenched interests, this policy of “divide and rule” is much more obvious. Surprisingly, the nations of this region, which are caught in such disputes, it seems are not aware of real roots of these differences and the role of the British Colonial policies in dragging on such disputes for long time. It is hoped that these two nations  have learned enough lesson from the past history and futile animosity, and by better understanding of policies of “divide and rule” of some powers, threw away all historical prejudicial views and grasp to the policy of coexistence and good neighbor policy for the sake of prosperity , calmness and peace.